By Susan Heckler
Do you ever measure what you manage to accomplish each day? Are you impressed or incredibly stressed?
For most people, Monday through Friday is a tight schedule, cramming in the obligations at work with your responsibilities at home. Between your killer commute, long hours at the office, managing your home, shopping for the basics, caring for your kids, volunteer work for the schools or religious organizations, and managing the children’s after-school activities… You barely got all of the fires under control so you can get a breather for the weekend.
Your work week is coming to an end; you successfully passed Hump Day and are closing in on TGIF. Can you look forward to a few days of R&R?
Weekends get slotted in for home-based projects. Clean-ups, clean-outs, projects for you or your kids… It never ends. Your children’s after school activities spill into your weekend, especially if they are on sports teams. Your mind never stops and the body is in perpetual motion. All of this is a drain on your energy and takes a toll on your body.
There are certain shortcuts we can all take which will free up some time and let us transfer our energy to where it is needed most.
• Prep work your prep work—spend a little time throughout the week doing maintenance to avoid a bigger job on the weekend. Maybe throw a load of laundry in here and there so you don’t have a massive pile up on Saturday. Sort the mail in as it comes so you don’t have to sort it before doing the bills. Clean the kitchen after each meal to avoid a major cleanup.
• Enlist the list—have everyone in your family pitch in to their ability.
• Make a plan and stick to it—plan some leisure or social time and allow yourself a reward.
• Delegate outside the box—find things outside of your family that may save you time and sanity such as drop and fold laundry services, dry cleaning delivery, restaurants that deliver, websites with free delivery instead of going to get it yourself, and pet groomers.
• Keep it real—make your expectations realistic or there is no way you will get it all done.
• Quality counts—when it comes to your children it isn’t just the quantity of time spent together, it is the quality that they crave.
• Whether there is weather—plan outdoor chores for the beautiful weather and do the indoor projects on the less desirable days.
• Minimize the mind games—If you don’t need to be in touch with work on the weekends, minimize your stress and avoid contact. Try to stay in Me Mode.
• Picky is good—turn down invitations except the ones you really want or can’t avoid.
• Reboot—plan activities that will invigorate you. You should have time to relax, rejuvenate and be able to start your work week in a better place.
• Combine forces—make use of friends and family; carpool and babysit for each other to free up everyone’s load.
• Centralize your errands—find a place that has everything in one place instead of running from town to town.
• Max out your Sunday—this is the last day of your weekend and should leave you relaxed, refreshed and happy. Plan your Sunday evening to do all of this for you.
Life is good, now it is your job to keep it that way.
By Susan Heckler